Murphy's Laws P


Panic Instruction
When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

Paperboy's rule of Weather
No matter how clear the skies are, a thunderstorm will move in 5 minutes after the papers are

Paradox of Selective Equality
All thing being equal, all things are never equal.

Paradoxical Law
Doing it the hard way is always easier.

Pardo's Postulates
1.Anything good is either illegal, immoral, or fattening.
2.The three faithful things in life are money, a dog, and an old woman.
3.Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you live comfortably and can have everything you want.

Pareto's Law (The 20/80 Law)
20% of the customers account for 80% of the turnover, 20% of the components account for 80% of
the cost, and so forth.

Parker's Law of Political Statements
The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility, and vice versa.

Parker's Prophesies
1.If anything is used to it's full potential, it will break.
2.Anything labeled "new" and/or "improved" isn't.
3.If an item is advertised as "under $50.00," you can bet it's not $19.95.
4.The one you want is never the one on sale.
5.If you like it, they don't have it in your size.
6.You never want the one you can afford.

Parker's Rule of Parliamentary Procedure
A motion to adjourn is always in order.

Parker's Third Rule of Tech Support
If you can't navigate a one-level, five-item phone tree, you didn't need a computer anyway.

Parkin's Law of Irritation
Anything that happens enough times to irritate you will happen at least once more.

Parking Laws
Parking place Defined: A huge space large enough for six cars on the other side of the street.
1.As soon as you have made your U Turn to take one of the places six cars come along and
take all of them all.
2.If you have to park six blocks away and walk back to the building, you will find two new parking
spaces right in front of the building entrance when you get there.
3.If only two cars are left in a huge parking lot, one will be blocking the other.

Parkinson's Axioms
1.An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals.
2.Officials make work for each other.

Parkinson's Law of 1000
An enterprise employing more than 1000 people becomes a self-perpetuating empire, creating so
much internal work that it no longer needs any contact with the outside world.

Parkinson's Law of Delay
Delay is the deadliest form of denial.

Parkinson's Law of Medical Research
Successful research attracts the bigger grant which makes further research impossible.

Parkinson's Law of the Telephone
The effectiveness of a telephone conversation is in inverse proportion to the time spent on it.

Parkinson's Laws
1.Work expands to fill the time available for its completion; the thing to be done swells in perceived
importance and complexity in a direct ratio with the time to be spent in its completion.
2.Expenditures rise to meet income.
3.Expansion means complexity; and complexity decay.
4.The number of people in any working group tends to increase regardless of the amount of work to
be done.
5.If there is a way to delay an important decision the good bureaucracy, public or private, will find it.
6.The progress of science varies inversely with the number of journals published.

Parkinson's Principle of Non-Origination
It is the essence of grantsmanship to persuade the Foundation executives that it was THEY who
suggested the research project and that you were a belated convert, agreeing reluctantly to all they
had proposed.

Parson's Laws
1.If you break a cup or plate, it will not be the one that was already chipped or cracked.
2.A place you want to get to is always just off the edge of the map you happen to have handy.
3.A meeting lasts at least 1 1/2 hours however short the agenda.

The Party Law
The more food you prepare, the less your guests eat.

Pastore's Comment on Michehl's Theorem
Nothing is ultimate.

Pastore's Truths
1.Even paranoids have enemies.
2.Most jobs are marginally better than daytime TV.
3.On alcohol: four is one more than more than enough.

Patrick's Theorem
If the experiment works, you must be using the wrong equipment.

Patton's Law
A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

Paturi Principle
Success is the result of behavior that completely contradicts the usual expectations about the
behavior of a successful person.
Corollary - The amount of success is in inverse proportion to the effort involved in attaining it.

Paul Principle
People become progressively less competent for jobs they once were well equipped to handle.

Paul's Law (of Drinking)
You can't fall off the floor.

Paul's Law of Group Insurance
The illness you come down with is the one ailment not covered under your insurance policy.

Paulg's Law
In America, it's not how much an item costs, it's how much you save.

Peck's Programming Postulates (Philosophic Engineering applied to programming)
1.In any program, any error which can creep in will eventually do so.
2.Not until the program has been in production for at least six months will the most harmful error be
3.Any constants, limits, or timing formulas that appear in the computer manufacturer's literature should
be treated as variables.
4.The most vital parameter in any subroutine stands the greatest chance of being left out of the calling
5.If only one compiler can be secured for a piece of hardware, the compilation times will be
6.If a test installation functions perfectly, all subsequent systems will malfunction.
7.Job control cards that positively cannot be arranged in improper order, will be.
8.Interchangeable tapes won't.
9.If more than one person has programmed a malfunctioning routine, no one is at fault.
10.If the input editor has been designed to reject all bad input, an ingenious idiot will discover a method
to get bad data past it.
11.Duplicated object decks which test in identical fashion will not give identical results at remote sites.
12.Manufacturer's hardware and software support ceases with payment for the computer.

Peckham's Law (Beckhap's Law?)
Beauty times brains equals a constant.

Peer's Law
The solution to a problem changes the problem.

Perelman's Point
There is nothing like a good painstaking survey full of decimal points and guarded generalizations
to put a glaze like a Sung vase on your eyeball.

Perkin's Postulate
The bigger they are, the harder they hit.

Perlsweig's Law
People who can least afford to pay rent, pay rent. People who can most afford to pay rent, build up

Law of Permanence
Political power is as permanent as today's newspaper. Ten years from now, few will know or care
who the most powerful man in any state was today.

Persig's Postulate
The number of rational hypotheses that can explain any given phenomenon is infinite.

The Perverse Principles of Temperature Regulation
1.The air conditioner in your car will break down on the hottest day of the year, the heater will be stuck
on "High", and all of the windows will be seized shut.
2.The heater will break down on the coldest day of the year, the air conditioner will be stuck on "High"
and the windows will be seized open.

Law of the Perversity of Nature
You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

Perversity of Nature Law
You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.

Peter Principle
In every hierarchy, whether it be government or business, each employee tends to rise to his level of
incompetence; every post tends to be filled by an employee incompetent to execute its duties.
1.Incompetence knows no barriers of time or place.
2.Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of
3.If at first you don't succeed, try something else.

Peter's Hidden Postulate According to Godin
Every employee begins at his level of competence.

Peter's Inversion
Internal consistency is valued more highly than efficiency.

Peter's Law of Evolution
Competence always contains the seed of incompetence.

Peter's Law of Substitution
Look after the molehills and the mountains will look after themselves.

Peter's Observation
Super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence.

Peter's Paradox
Employees in a hierarchy do not really object to incompetence in their colleagues.

Peter's Perfect People Palliative
Each of us is a mixture of good qualities and some (perhaps) not-so-good qualities. In considering
our fellow people we should remember their good qualities and realize that their faults only prove
that they are, after all, human. We should refrain from making harsh judgments of people just
because they happen to be dirty, rotten, no-good sons-of-bitches.

Peter's Placebo
An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.

Peter's Prognosis
Spend sufficient time in confirming the need and the need will disappear.

Peter's Rule for Creative Incompetence
Create the impression that you have already reached your level of incompetence.

Peter's Theorem
Incompetence plus incompetence equals incompetence.

Peters principal
1.In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his own level of incompetence, and then remains there.
2.There is never time to do it right but there is always time to do it over.
3.People specialize in their area of greatest weakness.
4.Every organization has an allotted number of positions to be filled by incompetents.

Peterson's Law
History shows that money will multiply in volume and divide in value over the long run. Or, expressed
differently, the purchasing power of currency will vary inversely with the magnitude of the public debt.

Phases of a Project
4.Search for the Guilty.
5.Punishment of the Innocent.
6.Distinction for the Uninvolved.

Phelps's Law of Retributive Statistics
An unexpectedly easy-to-handle sequence of events will be immediately followed by an equally long
sequence of trouble.

Phelps's Laws of Renovation
1.Any renovation project on an old house will cost twice as much and take three times as long as
originally estimated.
2.Any plumbing pipes you choose to replace during renovation will prove to be in excellent condition;
those you decide to leave in place will be rotten.

Phillip's Principle of Observable Repairs
1.The number of witnesses available is inversely proportional to the skill you demonstrate.
2.There will never be anyone around to see you do something brilliant
3.When you really screw up, you will get network coverage with a 40 share.
4.The only thing you didn't check for a malfunction, will be the source of the problem, but you won't find
it until you are called back.

Phone Booth Rule
A lone dime always gets the number nearly right.

The Third Law of Photography
If you did manage to get any good shots, they will be ruined when someone inadvertently opens the
darkroom door and all of the dark leaks out.

Second Law of Physics
You cant push on a rope.

Pierce's Law
In any computer system, the machine will always misinterpret, misconstruct, misprint, or not evaluate
any math or subroutines or fail to print any output on at least the first run through.
Corollary to Pierce's Law
When a compiler accepts a program without error on the first run, the program will not yield the
desired output.

Pierson's Law
If you're coasting, you're going downhill.

Pike Law of Punditry
The successful pundit is provided more opportunities to say things than he has things worth saying.

Pineapple Principle
The best parts of anything are always impossible to remove from the worst parts.

Pitfall of Genius
No boss will keep an employee who is right all the time.

Plotnick's Law
The time of departure will be delayed by the square of the number of people involved.

The Point of No Return Law
The light at the end of the tunnel could turn out to be the headlight of an oncoming train.

Political Axioms
1.When attempting to predict and forecast macro-economic moves or economic legislation by a
politician, never be misled by what he says; instead watch what he does.
2.Politicians will always inflate when given the opportunity.

Law of Political Erosion
Once the erosion of power begins, it has a momentum all its own.

Political Postulate
Formation of a party signals the dissolution of the movement.

Politicians' Rules
1.When the polls are in your favor, flaunt them.
2.When the polls are overwhelmingly unfavorable, either (a) ridicule and dismiss them or (b) stress the
volatility of public opinion.
3.When the polls are slightly unfavorable, play for sympathy as a struggling underdog.
4.When too close to call, be surprised at your own strength.

The Pollyanna Paradox
Every day, in every way, things get better and better; then worse again in the evening.

Pope's Law of Retroactivity
It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Postal Postulate
The announcement of the one event you most wanted to attend will arrive in the mail the day after the
it has taken place.

First Postulate of Isomurphism
Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

Potter's Law
The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely proportional to the subject's true value.

Poulsen's Law
When anything is used to its full potential, it will break.

Pournelle's Law of Costs and Schedules
Everything costs more and takes longer.

Powell's Law
Never tell them what you wouldn't do.

Pragmatic Principal
Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

Law of Predictive Action
The second most powerful phrase in the world is "Watch this!" The most powerful phrase is "Oh
yeah? Watch this!"

Preudhomme's Law of Window Cleaning
It's on the other side.

Price's Law of Politics
It's easier to be a liberal a long way from home.

Price's Law of Science
Scientists who dislike the restraints of highly organized research like to remark that a truly great
research worker needs only three pieces of equipment -- a pencil, a piece of paper, and a brain.
But they quote this maxim more often at academic banquets than at budget hearings.

The Principle Concerning Multifunctional Devices
The fewer functions any device is required to perform, the more perfectly it can perform those

Principle of Displaced Hassle
To beat the bureaucracy, make your problem their problem.

Principles of success
1.Everyone has a scheme for getting rich that will not work.
2.When in doubt, mumble. When in trouble, delegate.
3.Whatever you have done is never a complete failure. It can always serve as a bad example.
4.When the going gets tough, everyone leaves.
5.In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
6.It's a simple task to make things complex, but a complex task to make them simple.
7.If you try to please everybody, nobody will like it.

Law of Probability
Random events tend to occur in groups:

Law of Probable Dispersal
Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed. (also known as the How Come It All Landed On
Me Law)

Law of problems
1.If one views the problem closely enough, he will recognize himself as part of the problem.
2.Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Corollary - Every solution breeds new problems.

Productivity Equation
The productivity, P, of a group of people is:
P = N x T x (.55 - .00005 x N x (N - 1) )
where N is the number of people in the group and T is the number of hours in a work period.

Professional's Law
Doctors, dentists, and lawyers are only on time for appointments when you're not.

Professor Corey's Law
The amount of expertise varies in inverse proportion to the number of statements understood by the
general public.

Professor Gordon's Rule of Evolving Bryophytic Systems
While bryophytic plants are typically encountered in substrata of earthy or mineral matter in
concreted state, discrete substrata elements occasionally display a roughly spherical configuration
which, in presence of suitable gravitational and other effects, lends itself to combined translatory
and rotational motion. One notices in such cases an absence of the otherwise typical accretion of
bryophyta. We conclude therefore that a rolling stone gathers no moss.
Rutger's Corollary - Generally the subjective value assignable to avian lifeforms, when
encountered and considered within the confines of certain orders of woody plants lacking true
meristematic dominance, as compared to a possible valuation of these same lifeforms when in the
grasp of -- and subject to control by -- the manipulative bone/muscle/nerve complex typically
terminating the forelimb of a member of the species homo sapiens (and possibly direct precursors
thereof) is approximately five times ten to the minus first power.

Profundo's Laws on Staffing
1.The number of customers that visit your shop is inversely proportional to the number of employees
you have to wait on them.
2.When your entire staff is available no one will come.
3.When you are there alone, everyone will come and they will be impatient.

First Law of Project Management
Fuzzy project objectives are used to avoid the embarraament of estimating the corresponding
Sixth Law of Project Management
No matter what stage of completion one reaches, the cost of the remainder of the project remains

Project scheduling "99" rule
The first 90 percent of the task takes 10 percent of the time. The last 10 percent takes the other 90

Proverbial Law
For every proverb that so confidently asserts its little bit of wisdom, there is usually an equal and
opposite proverb that contradicts it.

Psychiatrist's At Home Test
One out of four people is mentally ill. Check three friends; If they're O.K. it must be you.

Public Relations Client Turnover Law
The minute you sign a client is the minute you start to lose him.

First Rule of Public Speaking
Nice guys finish fast.

Law of Public Transit
If you start walking, the first bus will come precisely when you are halfway between stops.

Public Transit Definitions
1.A bus is a vehicle in a bus zone on the other side of the street going in the opposite direction than
which you wish to go.
2.A bus is a vehicle which left the bus zone one minute ago.

Pudder's Laws
1.Anything that begins well ends badly.
2.Anything that begins badly ends worse.

The Puncture Principle
Nails are selectively attracted to the inside wheel on a dual wheeled vehicle.

Puritan's Law
Evil is live spelled backwards.
Corollary - If it feels good, don't do it.

Putney's Law
If the people of a democracy are allowed to do so, they will vote away the freedoms which are
essential to that democracy.

Putt's Law
Technology is dominated by two types of people -- those who understand what they do not manage,
and those who manage what they do not understand.

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